8 November 2016
Speaker: Punam Yadav
Discussants: Marsha Henry, David N. Gellner
Chair: Christine Chinkin
The concept of social transformation has been increasingly used in social science to study significant political, socio-economic and cultural changes affected by individuals and groups. While there is significant diversity in approaches to social transformation across different disciplines, most scholarship approaches social transformation as a top-down, intentional process with specific goals. This approach risks reducing the subjective experiences of people, which are dynamic, multiple, fluid and unpredictable, to a mere structural abstraction. This book argues that social transformation needs to be approached from a gender perspective and from the bottom up, and that this approach reveals the dynamism, power struggles and human agency, which enrich our understanding of how transformation occurs.
Through extensive interviews with women in post-conflict Nepal, this book analyses the intended and unintended impacts of conflict and traces the transformations in women’s understandings of themselves and their positions in public life. It raises important questions for the international community about the inevitable victimization of women during mass violence, but it also identifies positive impacts of armed conflict. The book also discusses how the Maoist insurgency had empowering effects on women. The first study to provide empirical evidence on the relationship between armed conflict and social transformation from a gender perspective, this book is a major contribution to the field of women, peace and security, peacebuilding, International Development and transitional justice in post-conflict space.
Read a review of the book
Punam Yadav is Research Fellow at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security. She is a member of the teaching team for postgraduate courses, 'Women, Peace and Security' (GI425) and Gender and Militarization (GI413). She is currently working on Gender and New Wars with Professor Christine Chinkin and Professor Mary Kaldor. Prior to joining LSE, she was part-time lecturer at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney. She started her professional career as a development practitioner in Nepal. She worked for over ten years with various International and National NGOs in Nepal, Thailand, Australia and the UK.
Marsha Henry is Deputy Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security and Associate Professor in the Gender Institute at LSE.
David N. Gellner is Professor of Social Anthropology and a Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford. He started researching Nepal in 1980 and has worked on a variety of topics, including religion, caste/ethnicity, politics, spirit possession, and borders. He is the author and editor of many books on Nepal, the most recent being Religion, Secularism, and Ethnicity in Contemporary Nepal (OUP, 2016). He is the Principal Investigator of an ESRC-funded project, 'Caste, Class, and Culture: Changing Bahun and Dalit Identity in Nepal'
Christine Chinkin (Chair) is Director of the Centre for Women, Peace and Security.
Audio recording of the event (Note: varying sound levels during Q&A session)